SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (CBS Sports) – Agent: Buddy Ryan, the NFL coach and mastermind of two Super Bowl defenses, dies at 82.
Ryan, the father of Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Buffalo defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, was one of the most brash, bold men in NFL history.
The former Eagles and Cardinals coach was most notable for his stretch with the Chicago Bears — Ryan was Chicago’s defensive coordinator from 1978-1985, inventing the “46” defense and constructing perhaps the greatest defense in NFL history, the 1985 Bears.
Mike Ditka, hired in 1982 by George Halas, retained Ryan, but the two weren’t really fond of one another during their stint together.
He battled it out publicly with Jimmy Johnson in Bounty Bowl — parts I and II — and wasn’t particularly friendly with previous Cowboys coach Tom Landry either.
Ryan notably ran up the score on Landry and Dallas during a 1987 Cowboys-Eagles game, continuing to throw the ball with 30 seconds left and his team up 10. Keith Byars would plunge into the end zone with two seconds on the clock to really rub it in.
After leaving the Eagles, Ryan landed with the Houston Oilers in 1993, where he made some waves for punching fellow coordinator Kevin Gilbride on the sideline of a game during his only year there.
Ryan would return as a head coach in 1994 with the Arizona Cardinals, going 12-20 over the course of two seasons.
Lost in his legacy somewhat is Ryan’s work as a defensive line coach with the Jets in the 1968 NFL season, which culminated in a Super Bowl III title for Joe Namath and Co. Ryan dialed up tons of blitz pressures, including the “Cheeseburger Blitz,” named after outside linebacker Al Harris who had the nickname the “Destroyer.”
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